Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

In retail world, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. The stores are crowded, the tables filled, the lines long. Holiday music is blaring from the speakers. It is sensory overload multiplied by one thousand.

Yesterday morning, I took Norrin to Macy's in search of a sweater that I knew would be on sale.

The sweaters were located right in front of the escalators.  Of course, Norrin wanted to go down the escalator.  And I knew if I let go of his hand, he would make a run for it.  I knelt down to search for a size, not letting go of his hand, but in fact holding it tighter.  So tight, it made my hand hurt.  When holding a child's hand there is no way to shop without making a mess.  And I did. With one hand, I moved some sweaters to another pile, flipping and tossing sweaters - tissue paper flying all over the place. I used to be a considerate shopper. However, shopping with a four year old on the spectrum all consideration is lost.  

I finally settled on two sweaters, because I couldn't find the one I wanted.  I went to the ladies shoe department, looking for a pair of boots that I tried on last week.  I waved the boots in front of the sales woman "I'm going to buy these boots.  Will you ring up the boots and the sweaters?"  

She looked me up and down. "Have you tried them on?"

I nodded and within minutes, she returned.  Norrin is playing with his cars and every so often I have to tell Norrin not to touch something or someone but for the most part, he's good.  

Of course it couldn't be that easy.  She didn't have the device to remove the sensor from one of the sweaters.  So I had to go back to the men's department to have it removed.  As we were walking out of Macy's I saw the sweater that I came in for, in the color and size that I needed.  It was the only one left.  I picked it up and went back on line. This line was long.

The woman at the counter was taking her time, folding everyone's clothes neatly, asking if they needed boxes and gift receipts. What I would have done for incompetence?!

Norrin was getting impatient and no longer interested in his cars. He started scripting; in a high pitched voice he says, "Oh No!  I've forgotten something really important." He hasn't forgotten anything, it's a line from Charlie and Lola.  He started squirming and asked to be picked up.  I calmly told Norrin that "we are waiting."  I stroked his hair, I squeezed his hand, gave him kisses, told him he's being such a good little boy.  But he's ready to go.  

The man in front of me, looked at me and Norrin.  "Benedryl usually works," he said.  

"Not on my kid."

We both laughed.  I am used to strangers putting their two cents in, offering advice or just staring trying to figure out what's wrong with him.  I don't let it bother me.

Norrin started pressing his face against my hand, his mouth open as if he's going to bite me.  He won't - he craves the deep pressure.  He then raised his hand to hit me.  "Don't hit Mommy,"  he said.

"That's right Norrin.  Do not hit Mommy.  That is not nice."

And then Norrin hit me.  (Not hard, just a little tap) The man in front of me turned around.  The cashier stopped ringing.  They both looked at me.  Judging.  I smiled and said, "he warned me."




  1. As always Lisa, you make me think, you make me laugh, you make me want more. Happy holidays. I love you!

  2. Lisa, you really capture the sense of the daily challenge of being a Mom. Nice post.

  3. So hard to shop during the holidays - I won't do it alone, can't imagine with a small child. Yr my hero darling. :)


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.